Three Submission Programs for Literary Journals – Submittable

Technology continues to impact the submission to literary journals in positive ways, with more and more organizations using contest management systems (CMS) to streamline the process for both editors and writers. This three-part blog series discusses the three most popular systems: Submittable, Submission Manager, and Literistic, a service launched in June 2015. We’ll look at pros and cons of each and personal experience where applicable.


Editors and writers alike have certainly encountered Submittable, have encountered the user-friendly interface (usually anyway) of the open-source software frequently used by literary journals, both the well-known and prestigious and the lesser known. According to its site, over 9,000 companies/organizations use Submittable in some capacity.

Submittable streamlines the submission process for editors, allowing automatic e-mails to be sent to authors, acknowledging receipt of their submission. Editorial staffs easily rank and track submissions.

For authors, once they have created an account with Submittable, that information is good for every journal with submission systems powered by Submittable. A new feature for authors called Discover, provides a comprehensive list of contests calling for submissions. Once an author has submitted to a journal or contest, they can see a complete listed of their submissions and track the progress of work view whether it was accepted, rejected, or still in progress. The price of Submittable is available upon request.

One note of caution, however. I recently submitted a story via Submittable and heard back from an editorial requesting minor changes and possible publication. I did as ask and sent the piece back to the editor. Several weeks later, I received notification this editor really wanted to publish my story, but hadn’t heard back from me. I re-sent the story with a note. When I heard from the interested editor a third time wondering why I hadn’t ever responded, I realized something was amiss with the Submittable e-mail response system. I tracked down the editor’s e-mail, which he finally received and gladly published my story. Had I not been persistent, the editor and I would never have connected to publish my story.



Widely used Email system can by faulty
Easy-to-use interface Cost may be prohibitive
One-time registration
Tracks entries
Discover contest feature
Not only for submitting literary works


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